No early elections without consent of all coalition parties: PM Shehbaz

LAHORE: Speaking to a select group of newspapers’ editors and senior journalists here at the PML-N secretariat in Model Town, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that there was no proposal under consideration for early elections and any decision in this regard would be taken in consultation with all allied parties of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Flanked by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Finance Minister Miftah Islamil, Railways Minister Khwaja Saad Rafique and others, Shehbaz Sharif, when asked to comment on the statement of former interior minister Sheikh Rasheed about the possibility of turning the PTI Long March bloody, said that if the march remains peaceful then the government had no problem.

“If there is any indication of incitement to violence or bloodshed, law will take its due course ” he added.

To a question regarding the end of tenure of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, due to retire in November, and selection of next army chief  Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif  said that it was premature to discuss the matter at this time.

Speaking on the matter of issues faced by the media industry, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the system would be upgraded to resolve the billing issues of the print media industry.

“We will assure press freedom. As soon as we found out about FIA’s SC appeal against IHC’s decision on the PECA ordinance, it was taken back” she added.

Finance Minister Miftah Islamil, commenting on the state of the economy said that the outgoing regime of PTI had rendered a huge blow to the country’s economy and Rs 118 billion per month had been lost due to capping the oil prices, while is takes Rs 40 billion per month to run the government.

He said that he had also taken notice of mismanagement of wheat and three million tons of wheat would be imported to help stabilise the prices of wheatflour.

“Pakistan was exporting wheat when we left the government in 2018. Three and a half years of PTI’s government’s mismanagement and incompetence has forced us to become importers of wheat”, he added.

This was the last and fourth meeting in a day that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had held with various members of the media on Sunday, ranging from media representative bodies such as the Council for Pakistan Newspaper Editors, Editors of various newspapers, electronic media anchors to bureau chiefs and beat reporters of various media houses.

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